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tv   The Last Word  MSNBC  February 14, 2011 8:00pm-9:00pm EST

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more bs, just a book with a cover and missing case for war that got their argument over the top with the american middle that got them their war. shame, shame, shame. all those people dead because words were spoken that had no truth. that's "hardball" for now. thanks for being with us. the last word with lawrence o'donnell starts now. president obama's budget is dead on arrival. >> i pledge to cut the deficit in half. >> we're ready to take this debate on. >> president obama's budget plan puts him between worried democrats and uncompromising republicans. >> hot off the presses and already getting a cool reception from democrats and republicans. >> huge disappointment to those in both parties. >> democrats see too many cuts that hurt children and the poor. >> more than a trillion in cuts. >> if a republican president proposed it, the left would go crazy. >> 14 million children growing
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up in poverty could soon disappear. >> taking heating subsidies away from poor people. >> republicans say obama doesn't cut enough. >> we're broke. we have to cut even from programs that are good. >> there's very little we see in this so far, commonality on spending. >> the white house depends the cuts and calls new spending investments. >> the national institute of health, research for medicine, those kinds of things, energy and some transportation. >> we think it is a responsible plan. >> cuss ex-set i have spending wherever we find it. >> he talked about his principles, about not doing this on the backs of the most vulnerable. >> the president gets some democratic support. >> i may lose my job over the fact i say we need to make some changes to social security. >> it strikes the right balance between deficit reduction and plan towards fiscal responsibility. >> it is going to require democrats and republicans coming together to make it happen. >> but with the presidential
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campaign under way, compromise is not what republicans have in mind. >> the right goes wild. >> i've never seen a more wide open race for the republican inauguration. >> the obama administration is pro-deficit spending and pro-high taxes. >> he's obviously testing the waters pretty seriously here. >> can you even think of a republican you would consider voting for in 2012? >> president obama released his spending blueprint for 2012 today. the white house says the new budget would cut the deficit by $1.1 trillion in the next ten years. the 2011 deficit is projected to hit a record $1.65 trillion. the president's budget includes a five-year freeze on domestic spending, tax hikes on oil companies, and an 11% increase in funding to education. president obama calls the cuts in his budget tough choices.
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eliminating pel grants for summer school. allowing interests to build up on federal loans while graduate students are still in school, and cutting some $2.5 billion from a program that helps low income people pay their energy bills during extreme weather. >> the bipartisan fiscal commission concluded the only way to truly tackle our deficit is to cut excessive spending wherever we find it, in domestic spending, defense spending, healthcare spending, and spending through tax breaks and loopholes. so what we've done here is make a down payment. but there's going to be more work that needs to be done, and it's going to require democrats and republicans coming together to make it happen. >> as if on cue, republicans attacked president obama's leadership. >> the president has said he wants us to win the future. but this budget advocates the future. it spends too much. taxes too much.
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and borrows too much. it says that the president does not have the will or the ability to do what we need to do with the money that we have. >> joining me now, former governor howard dean. governor dean, thanks for joining us tonight. >> thanks for having me on, lawrence. >> i have to say at the outset, i don't understand the president's budget as a strategic document. it is not going to pass. the republicans in the house won't pass it, just as the republican budget is dead on arrival, it won't pass because senate democrats won't pass it. so these are negotiating tools. the president seems to be giving up an awful lot in his initial negotiating tool, isn't he? >> well, there are some things i disagree with the president's budget on, particularly the low income heating assistance. but the president is being the president. he's got to put something that's credible before the people of the country, and i think he has done that. when you look at the republicans, they have made a huge mistake. they spent their entire time since they've been here fighting about abortion and healthcare
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and haven't done anything about balancing the budget. then they come out with the budget cut list and it is a hate list. hate the environment, they cut that. hate science, they don't like people that don't vote for them, they cut historical black colleges. the president can't do that. he has to have a plan. this is a plan. i think it is a little top heavy in defense, frankly. for $2.5 billion off the defense budget isn't going to be noticed. that will keep people warm in their homes especially in the cold winter that we've had. but the president has done something that has to be done. we can argue about the particulars. congress will argue about the particulars. he's showing leadership the republicans are whining and moaning and doing their best to complain, and they have nothing constructive to offer. >> speaking of defense, it seems house republicans may be willing to cut more in defense spending than a democratic president. shouldn't the president have pushed harder in that category? >> well, i think so, because i think they wouldn't be quite as many human services cuts.
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we need to cut spending here. we don't need to talk about social security, because that doesn't have a direct affect on the deficit. we need to talk about medicare and revenue increases. one of the things i like about the president's budget, over the long term, he deals with the deficit. the way he does it, he acknowledges 60% of the deficit in 2018 will be a result of bush tax cuts. so the republicans have a budget that is much, much larnler eee larger. >> do you see a philosophy of governing in this budget? i am having trouble with that. i see education in certain ways, but then cuts are protected. money is taken from education here, maybe added over here. i can't see a coherent philosophy in this budget.
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>> i see a general philosophy. i wonder, too. i've done lots of budgets, but never a federal budget. a federal budget is a hundred times more complicated than a state budget, but the philosophy is there. i think the president believes of all the things that are important to make sure you preserve the investment in education is number one. i wouldn't agree with what he's doing with interest rates on the pell grants if that's what his philosophy, but you have seen that come through, and it is consistent with his state of the union address. he wants to win the future. so i do see a philosophy there, but i see some incoherence in things done under the hood. but that's i think because the budget process is so unwielding and you do things like that. but i think there is an overall philosophy that is the president's philosophy. >> howard dean, thanks for joining us. >> thanks, lawrence. the progressive change campaign committee issued this
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statement regarding the president's budget. every proposed cut to necessary programs like pell grants and heating for low income seniors needs to be jujds in the context of the unnext tax cuts for wall street millionaires that passed at the end of last year, proposing even more tax breaks for wall street banks, while flashing and burning necessary government programs, is right wing radicalism, and no democratic president should be part of it. joining me now, massachusetts congressman barney frank, ranking member of the house committee on financial services. thanks for joining me tonight. >> glad to. it is an important night. >> congressman, do you think that the president's budget is fairly described as right wing radicalism? >> no. i think it is fairly described as what happens when you are unwilling to make the major reductions in america's world-wide military footprint has to be made. if you agree we have to continue
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to not be the world policemen, keep noncombat troops in iraq, i am fuzzy on the concept of a noncombat troop, but if you're going to continue the enormous level of military spending, the president makes cuts, but not significant. i am troubled, dean was right on the low income assistance. what i worry about is when investment gets a priority that efforts to keep the poorest and most vulnerable, keep body and soul together for them gets hurt. but the fundamental point is this. you can't continue. i saw a number. when bill clinton left office, the deficit was 300 billion. we have two wars and tremendous excesses elsewhere. until and unless the president is willing to say look, america can no longer afford this. just take western europe. harry truman made a good thing by going to the war defense in european countries threatened by joe stall in.
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there is no threat to europe any more. they are not poor any more. only thing that changed is tens of millions in military subsidy. the answer is there has to be a much greater recognition of the need to make military cuts. we shouldn't have given warren buffet estate tax cut. there was an excess in the spending cuts, in tax cuts for the wealthiest. but fundamental change has to come by us announcing that america can no longer afford to police the world, particularly people that don't need our help. >> congressman frank, no one knows more about regulating wall street than you do. do you see in the president's budget what are described as give aways to wall street? >> here to the advantage of the president, he is doing the right thing as opposed to the republicans. what's striking here is in the republican budget, there are at least three direct attacks on the effort to provide financial reform. they are underfunding the security and exchange commission. the president proposed increases
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for security and exchange commission and commodities futures trading commission. we had a terrible problem of unregulated derivatives. they have also tried to undermine the consumer bureau under elizabeth warren, great friend of the consumer, and trying to limit that spending. and by the way, relatively small dollars, a couple hundred millions in the sec. so the president in his budget does provide the funding for the regulatory agencies, and one of the fights we're going to have on the floor is the republicans are trying to rederegulate derivatives, trying to undermine consumer protection by denying the funds to the agencies that we newly empowered. >> the president's budget is obviously dead on arrival in a republican house of representatives. the republican house of representatives budget will be dead on arrival wherever it goes, to the senate if they pass
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one. where should the president's veto line be in negotiating with the republican house on these budgets? >> certainly he should not be going lower in many of the areas that he's been. to stress the financial piece, i hope he will make it clear that they've got to have this level of regulatory authority. the problem frankly is we don't know what the republicans are going to do. here is the problem. the republican leadership has dissolved. the leadership now is the tea party people. the problem is you don't know there's an ability to negotiate. it is hard to negotiate with a negotiating committee that consists of john boehner, eric cantor, the mad hatter, and the white rabbit. >> if anyone can do it, congressman barney frank can lead the way in the house of representatives. congressman frank, thank you very much for joining us tonight. >> thank you.
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ron paul wins the straw poll at cpac and his first order of business is to continue a public feud with donald trump over who is more electable. but overshadowing the straw poll is the staff shakeup at the sarah palin political team. is it the clearest sign yet she might seriously be thinking about a white house run? and later, john boehner says he knows president obama is american, but refuses to force anyone else to face that fact. and lisa ling is here to talk about politics and the premier of her new show. you
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coming up, surprise in the cpac straw poll. chris christie isn't even planning to run for the republican inauguration and he beats most of the candidates that will run. and michelle bachmann tops sarah palin. eugene robinson is charged with making sense of cpac for us tonight. and later, bill o'reilly's ambushed producer gets pumped.
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to london starts with arthritis pain... and a choice. take tylenol now, and maybe up to 8 in a day. or...choose aleve and 2 pills for a day free of pain. enjoy the flight. the winner of the straw poll this year, congressman ron paul gets 30%. >> for the second consecutive year, ron paul's straight talk propelled him to conservative political action conference's straw poll victory. he finished seven points ahead of mitt romney. former new mexico governor gary johnson, and current new jersey
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governor chris christie received 6% of the vote. newt gingrich got five. they beat the most recent vice presidential candidate, sarah palin, who got a mere 3%. write-in candidate donald trump received about 1% of the vote, despite telling the crowd the unwelcome truth, that ron paul has zero chance of winning the general election or the primaries for that matter. ron paul defended himself against donald trump this morning. >> i was elected 11 times and somebody said well, how many times has donald trump been elected. does he have really the right to go and criticize others and say they are unelectable? >> yes, he does have that right and he's pretty good at exercising because he can count. he's actually good with numbers,
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unlike anyone with cpac and he can read polls which clearly speak of the happy hopelessness of the paul for president movement. joining me now, msnbc political analyst and "the washington post" columnist eugene robinson. thanks for joining me. >> great to be here. >> let's listen to what rush limbaugh said about cpac on his radio show today. >> the problem with cpac frankly is that rather than promote conservative principles, maybe it is new strategies, fine and danld ee. rather than do that, the principles are up for grabs. definition of a conservative is up for grabs. >> gene, rush seems to have a point there. by endorsing ron paul, cpac endorsed a candidate who, let me see, has no problem with gay marriage, who is against the wars in iraq and afghanistan, he's against our alliance with israel, he is for decriminalizing marijuana.
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starts to sound not so conservative. >> not so conservative, and to go further, he wants us back on the gold standard. now, i mean, it doesn't make a lot of sense until you really look at the confusion that is modern conservativism these days and you see it at cpac. he gets shouted down, people don't like what he is saying, yet he wins the straw poll because he has that 30%. it is a mess, frankly. you said i was going to make sense of it, but i feel like mission impossible. this assignment will self destruct in ten seconds. >> why do romney and all the other candidates treat cpac so seriously if they know going in, and they should know going in, that they're going to lose this poll. they show up, and they give speeches there, they add credibility to an organization that repeatedly produces as their favorite candidate utterly hopeless candidates.
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>> right. so ron paul wins the straw poll. but where is the kind of energy and enthusiasm and motive force of the republican party. it is all in the conservative wing. this is the problem. this is the yearly time to put on your best and come out, and you got to look good at cpac if you're going to consider yourself a presidential candidate, which is why it is interesting that although i understand there was sarah palin look alike at cpac, there was, in fact, no sarah palin. >> well, now these people voting for him know, they know very clearly what his position is on the iraq war and the afghanistan war. these people are informed about ron paul's positions. are we to take some hope from what these conservatives are actually thinking? >> a little bit actually, insofar as we see these views reflected, for example, in the freshman class in the house of
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representatives. i have a feeling we're going to see some interesting votes that don't necessarily go the way that john boehner and eric cantor might want them to go, because i think a number of these tea party types who got elected to congress don't like foreign entanglements, would not mind cutting the defense budget, and a few of them might support decriminalization of drugs. >> and sarah palin who did so badly at cpac hired michael os ner, worked on the vice presidential side of it. do we take her any more sears yus because she hired one possible campaign staffer? >> not much. if you thought there was some sort of linear design to her process of thought as she decides whether or not to run, then you might say yes, this is a step towards perhaps running.
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i'm not sure that it is linear. i think it is winding, at best. i don't know that she has decided. so i wouldn't read a whole lot into it. i have a feeling that todd palin is still the effect i have chief of staff of the sarah palin operation. >> eugene robinson, thank you for being here. quick programming note. tomorrow night on the last word my special guest will be possible presidential candidate mr. donald trump. the president was born an american citizen, and he's also christian. that's what john boehner says he believes, but he's not going to try to convince fellow conservatives of that. lisa ling, host of the new show "our america" joins me. [ male announcer ] a chicken coop: the unlikely birthplace of a fundamental idea. it's where ethel percy andrus found a retired teacher living
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ahead in this hour, the highest elected republican in the land says he believes president obama is an american citizen and a christian, but john boehner says it's not his job to help his fellow conservatives separate fact from fiction. and big surprise, facts aren't all that important at fox news. an insider says the network makes stuff up. and when confronted with that, an o'reilly producer can't think of one thing to say to defend his network. tdd# 1-800-345-2550 absolutely. i mean, these financial services companies
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here. wow. you believe he's a muslim? >> yes. >> and you think that's having impact on what he says and does? >> fundamentally, yes. >> absolutely. >> jack? >> yes, i do also. >> across the nation, muslim and birther fever infected at least ten state legislatures, bills requiring candidates to provide proof of natural born citizenship is driven by an intensely angry 27% of americans who need more proof that their president is not an undocumented worker. on sunday's meet the press, speaker of the house john boehner tried to find what turns out to be a nonexistent line between not being associated with lunatic conspiracy theorists and not angering those same lunatic conspiracy theorists. >> the state of hawaii said he was born there, that's good enough for me. the president says he's a christian. i accept him at his word.
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>> but isn't that a little business fast and loose? i mean, you are the leader in congress and not standing up to obvious facts. saying these are facts, if you don't believe it, it is nonsense. >> i just outlined the facts as i understand them. i believe that the president is a citizen. i believe the president is a christian. i'll take him at his word. >> and i guess we'll just have to take john boehner at his word that he is a christian. meanwhile, at the conservative political action conference, cpac, ann coal ter felt perfectly comfortable taking contraryian stand against freedom and the freedom hating crowd loved it. >> what do you mean knowing that there are jailed journalists, i think there should be more jailed journalists. >> so is this the real america as republicans like to call it, a nation of paranoid freedom hating conspiracy theorists? joining me now is lisa ling whose new series "our america" with lisa ling premiers on the
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oprah winfrey network tomorrow. when you see the focus group where they talk about things about they think he is muslim, don't think he was born here, i get the feeling you've been out there. you're not surprised. >> tragically, i am not surprised, and i am someone that grew up outside of sacramento, california. and because i am asian american, i felt very conflicted about my cultural identity for a long time. never felt totally american, nor do i feel entirely chinese. so our intention with this series we are doing with this series "our america" is trying to define what it means to be american. in the case of president obama, i can't believe we are even discussing this today. throughout the course of working on this series, i spent a lot of time in churches. some of the things i heard in churches on the pulpit about the president were so shocking and appalling, and the whole idea of separation of church and state was certainly not evident in the
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churches. it completely talking about the president in the churches like that was something i didn't expect in this country. >> i want to go quickly to what she said about jailed journalists. you had some experience with this with your sister being held in north korea and bill clinton coming to the rescue to get her out of there in a very dramatic situation. i am sure you and your family were terribly afraid of how long she would be held. what is your reaction when you hear ann coulter say something like that. >> it makes me incensed. there were people that said my sister and her team should not have been there and should have gotten the punishment they received. and that angers me because of the free press. if there weren't, we should remain ignorant, and allow people that pontificate, profess to know things about which they
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may not know to be our source of news, and i think that's very a very dangerous attitude. i think these days with so much media, the need for journalism and people being in the field is more important than ever. >> it seems that what we're seeing there with ann coulter and the focus group is this abundance of freedom. we are so free that ann can make a joke about jailing journalists. i think it was a joke, not sure of the context. the people in the focus group can freely think whatever they are thinking without necessarily having facts to back it up. is there a kind of laziness that you find that comes with our freedom? >> i actually don't think there's a lot of thinking at all. i think we're so desperate to be told what to think that we take so much of what we hear as fact or reality or as news, and i actually think that that's
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dangerous. >> now, you've been everywhere. you've just been everywhere on the planet. surely you have been to egypt. >> i have been to egypt, yes. >> how many times? >> yeah, i've been to egypt twice. >> what you saw happen in the previous 20 days in egypt, how much did that surprise you? what of it made sense to you as you were watching it unfold? >> well, it was surprising, but having just sort of seen what happened in iran last year was -- i think that there's a movement happening throughout the world. it is increasingly more difficult for any dictator to maintain this kind of strangle hold over the people. and i just think it is so incredible that the social networks that were created by american young people are now destabilizing governments and allowing millions of people to organize. i think the consequences, however, for the u.s. government will be kind of interesting. i think from here on out, we really need to rethink u.s.
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policy towards authoritarian regimes, because they can no longer continue to maintain the strangle hold. >> the social media and the internet and all of this free flow of information is something that the regimes don't know how to deal with. they used to be able to clamp down on newspapers, control the newspapers and you're done. that's it. that controls information in the countries. but it is different now. >> you can only shut them down so long. it is interesting. i read a report about china, as soon as egypt started to erupt, china shut down their networks and social media. it is a scary notion for the dictators in these kinds of regimes. >> i want to get to this clip of your show because i think in a certain kind of way, it is a companion piece to frank lunts's focus group. >> todd, i am watching you do your healing and you're like bam, bam, bam, what's that about. >> it's not the word that really is doing anything. but i do feel releases of power
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when i do that. at that moment, that's how i focus on releasing the power of god. it is the power of jesus releasing that. >> are you a prophet, todd? >> i am not a prophet. i call myself just a normal guy that believes in the gifts of the holy spirit, and i am totally dependent on god's spirit. i've got to acknowledge, god has given me a gift, and i need to use that gift. i can hear the voice of god. >> okay. what exactly does that guy do for a living? >> so he is a faith healer. he believes he was anoinlted by god to heel people that are sick and -- heal people that are sick and have ailments. 80% of americans believe god can heal. when i went into this story about faith healers, i went into it with a sort of suspicious and critical kind of feeling, and actually what i experienced at this faith healing conference was quite miraculous. i met a man who has been
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wheelchair bound for 15 years. and god told him that he was going to walk on the last day, in the last hour of this conference. and i'm not going to tell you what happens because you have to watch the show, but it completely shocked me and transformed my notion of faith. it was a pretty amazing experience. >> lisa ling whose show "our america" is on oprah's network. i believe it is called own. >> own. the oprah winfrey twork. >> she owns everything. might as well call it that. >> almost. >> lisa ling, thank you for being my valentine on the last word. fox news tough guy bill o'reilly calls msnbc anti-american and backs it up with, that's right, nothing. and o'reilly producer jessie waters is an expert on ambushing people like al gore and bill moyers. what will his reaction be when a liberal website corners him. that's coming up.
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of just making stuff up. bill o'reilly did it on wednesday night when he called this network anti-american, and glenn beck does it all the time. my personal challenge to o'reilly in tonight's rewrite. and a fox news producer notorious for his ambush interviews gets a bit of his own medicine when liberal website think progress surprises him at cpac. his not so pleasant reaction is coming up. see you, good game. see you guys tomorrow. dylan, you need a ride? no, my dad should be here. every day, millions of people choose to do the right thing. there's an insurance company that does that, too. liberty mutual insurance. responsibility. what's your policy?
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time for tonight's rewrite. do you ever get the feeling that glenn beck's job is to be a smoke screen for bill o'reilly? beck is busy saying so many utterly insane things that get him so much attention that it's easy to miss o'reilly's lower voltage lies. here is o'reilly talking with renowned prostitute patron dick morris about the thing o'reilly can never stop talking about, his interview with president obama. >> the president wouldn't basically define how he sees the muslim brotherhood. he would not do it. he said they are strains of anti-american in it, but that sounds like msnbc, there are strains of anti-americanism over there. >> sure. >> so o'reilly tells the lie that msnbc is anti-american and gets a desperate guy whose public record with prostitutes makes him unemployable anywhere else to agree with him. and his devoted audience thinks they just learned something, which explains why a university
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of maryland study found that fox news viewers are misinformed more than any other news network viewers. a study that was not the first to reach that conclusion. now, when i say o'reilly is lying about this, i'm giving him credit for sometimes being smarter than what he actually says. and on this one, o'reilly knows better. he knows there's nothing anti-american going on at this network. but he's seen the studies about how, shall we say, impressionable his audience is, and he knows everyone on the fox payroll that appears as a guest on the show will say exactly what he wants them to say. he has figured out exactly what his audience wants to hear, and that's what he delivers. and when that requires lying, o'reilly can do it without blinking because he discovered there's a lot of money to be made in those lies. here is what i see when i look
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at bill o'reilly. a very, very, very rich man who has grown phenomenally rich by playing on tv something that america falls for. when i look at o'reilly, i see dozens of guys i grew up with who were just like him. overbearing, argumentative, irish guys who think they know everything and can back up nothing. those guys have always been a joke to me, which is why o'reilly almost never has the capacity to outrage me, because he is just a joke to me. most of the time. but when he blairs homicidal -- he deserved what he has received. most of what o'reilly does
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day-in and day-out deserves nothing more than to be laughed at, which is how saturday night live treated him, what else can you do with someone who says he knows of no other explanation of why the tides go in and out. then when told it has a little something to do with the moon thinks he can stump you with this question. >> how did the moon get there? how'd it get there, how'd the sun get there? how'd it get here? how did it get there? who put it there. >> he believes he can ask an utterly i did ee ot i can question like that and intimidate you, simply by using his faux irish tough guy style. billy boy, i know real irish tough guys. they don't look and sound like you. and none of them come from long island like you. and none of them go to work in
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makeup like you. anybody who knows real tough isn't fooled by your act, bill. now, i have a homework assignment for your underworked staff. since they finished explaining the tides and the moon to you, put them to work trying to find what this network has done or what i have done that is anti-american. take as long as you want. find it and show it to your audience. and if you're as afraid to accept my challenge as i think you are, if you don't even try to provide fact to back up what you said about me, no one watching this show is going to be surprised, billy, because they will know that you will have proved everything that i just said about you. my pipes might leak compromise what i like to do. i take care with vesicare, because i have better places to visit than just the bathroom. ( announcer ) once-daily vesicare can help control your bladder muscle,
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and is proven to treat overactive bladder with symptoms of frequent urges and leaks, day and night. if you have certain stomach or glaucoma problems, or trouble emptying your bladder, do not take vesicare. vesicare may cause allergic reactions that may be serious. if you experience swelling of the face, lips, throat or tongue, stop taking vesicare and get emergency help. tell your doctor right away if you have severe abdominal pain or become constipated for three or more days. vesicare may cause blurred vision, so use caution while driving or doing unsafe tasks. common side effects are dry mouth, constipation, and indigestion. ( woman ) you have better things to join than always a line for the bathroom. so, pipe up and ask your doctor today about taking care with vesicare.
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. if you refuse to go on bill o'reilly's show or say something he doesn't like, he's coming after you. excuse me. he's not brave enough to do that. so he's going to send a guy who works for him to chase you down with a camera. when you see this guy coming at
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you, get ready to be bullied, o'reilly style. >> mr. vice president. >> i don't like ambush journalism. >> jessie waters, fox news. how are you? that's disgraceful, you have to back up your accusations. >> can you leave me alone? >> actually no, we'd like to talk to you a second. >> i would like to ask you to leave my private property. >> you're just dishonest. >> i listened to the portion you highlighted. >> you didn't hear the whole thing, don't know the context and owe everybody an apology. want to comment on that? >> what do you think of that. come on. >> come on my show. i'll ask you, bill won't do it, he doesn't have the courage, but i ask you, come on my show. >> bill would have been here today but he is interviewing lindsey lohan. >> of course. >> friday, jessie waters showed up at cpac in washington and found himself at the wrong end of someone else's view finder. my next guest, ben armbruster of
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think caught up with waters, asked about an interview that a former fox news employee gave to media matters in which he said, quote, stuff is just made up. >> are you jessie waters? >> who are you? >> ben armbruster. >> what's up. how you doing. >> i want to ask you a question. >> is this an ambush? listen, this is not how you do an ambush, man. >> why not? >> you have to have a real camera, first of all. >> this is real. >> if you are doing a real ambush, you have to have a crew, you have to get a sound guy. it is kind of a little jay-z. i got to teach you some things. >> so i wanted to ask you, there is a report out a couple days ago about a fox news insider saying that fox news just makes stuff up, and it is a propaganda outfit for the gop. i was wondering what you think about that. >> well, first of all, when you do these things, you kind of got to like start, hey, how you
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doing, you know, what's your name. >> so what do you think about it? >> you know, usually when i do these things, i say hi, jessie waters. >> i did introduce myself. do you think fox makes stuff up? >> bro, you come at me with the camera phone. >> answer the question. yes or no. do you think fox makes stuff up? yes or no. >> do i think fox makes stuff up? that's your question? you want to repeat the question? >> do you have an answer or no. >> are you going to repeat the question. >> a fox insider said fox -- >> bro, i'm kidding around, i heard the question. i'm just messing with you, man. >> joining me now, ben armbruster, assistant editor for think thanks for joining us. >> thanks for having me. >> just messing with you. that's what he does for a living. but that is the best he could come up with when his news organization, so-called, faces
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the worst accusation a news organization can face? >> yeah. i'm not really sure what his strategy there was. i think what he was trying to do was he was trying to bring me down to his level, and he was assuming that i was ambushing him, therefore, he was trying to quote, school me on how to do a proper ambush. i mean, all i was really doing was i was reporting at cpac for think on a variety of conservative issues, and i happened to see jessie waters roaming around the hotel. i saw him, i thought hey, i saw this reporter from media matters that week, and i thought perhaps since he is a fox news employee that i would ask him about what he thought about it. but after i asked him, he didn't really -- obviously didn't answer the question, but he just kind of assumed that i was ambushing him, which i clearly wasn't. i mean, jesse waters' view of
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ambushing was what he did with my former colleague, following her two hours outside of washington, d.c. and ambushing her on vacation. >> she was just to identify her, she's one of the people we just saw in that compilation of jesse's dirty work. >> that's right. and all i was doing was i just wanted to ask him what he thought about media matters reports, and his response was mainly to belittle me and ignore the substantive issue of what he thought about this insider saying that fox news makes stuff up. and so i mean it really wasn't an ambush. i wasn't ambushing jesse waters. there were hundreds of reporters at cpac that day. i wasn't following him anywhere. it wasn't premeditated. i happened to see him walking around, thought maybe i'll ask a
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fox news employee what he thinks about this story. >> the report you're talking about about the fox insider says a lot more than they make stuff up. it goes on in great detail in quotes to describe their work process, and how the message is delivered to deliver at that network the conservative message, the republican party message. it is very detailed. it is the kind of thing that a news organization would really worry about if that kind of report came out, and would want to try to confront it and deal with it in as forceful a way as possible. you offering him that opportunity and him having no idea what to do, except to try to run away, which is what he was doing, all i see on that video is he's trying to get away from you. >> yeah, that's right. i think it's pretty -- seems fairly simple for me, from my point of view if he could just say, have a comment one way or another or say yes or no or what he thinks about it. but i think his response is kind
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of emblemattic of what fox news does in general. they divert substantive issues and belittle and put down their perceived opponents to divert attention from the real issue, which what we all know anyway. you know, fox news is a gop, you know, propaganda outfit. so the media matters report really wasn't necessarily something we didn't know already, but it was interesting that a fox news insider had said this. so he sort of came back to the fox news tactics of diverting attention from a real issue and making it about me rather than answering the substance of the question. >> ben armbruster of think progress, thank you very much for your time tonight and thank you for your work at cpac. very valuable


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